Thursday, 24 April 2014

Two presidential candidates appeal Interior Ministry's decision

27 November 2012

Prague, Nov 26 (CTK) - Senator Tomio Okamura and economist Vladimir Dlouhy will appeal the Interior Ministry's decision not to register them as candidates for Czech president, and the third rejected candidate, former MEP Jana Bobosikova, called on the ministry to correct its decision yesterday.

Eight candidates have been registered for the direct presidential election while Bobosikova, Dlouhy and Okamura were eliminated by the ministry.

The three eliminated candidates collected more than the required 50,000 signatures, but the total dropped below the level after assessment and subtraction of invalid signatures.

Some lawyers say the Interior Ministry chose a wrong calculation method when assessing the invalid signatures.

The rejected candidates can turn to the Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) by Wednesday afternoon and then possibly also to the Constitutional Court (US).

Bobosikova, chairwoman of the extra-parliamentary Sovereignty party, decided first to address the Interior Ministry as allowed by the law.

She called on the ministry to correct "obvious mistakes" when calculating the signatures on the petition for her candidature.

The ministry's spokeswoman Denisa Cermakova said, however, the ministry cannot count the signatures retroactively.

Cermakova said the ministry cannot recalculate the signatures for Bobosikova because the law does not say anything about the calls for reappraisal of its decision.

Dlouhy said last week the ministry had used a wrong calculation of the invalid signatures.

Okamura said yesterday he will appeal the decision on his elimination from the presidential contest.

He said the ministry incorrectly considered the signatures of those persons who did not state their permanent residence invalid. He said the first name and surname and the date of birth or the birth certificate number were enough to identify a person in the Czech Republic.

The ministry argued there were several interpretations of the calculation methods, but Okamura sharply rejected it.

Okamura gathered nearly 62,000 signatures under his presidential bid, but the ministerial clerks concluded that 26,000 of them were not valid.

According to the latest polls, all the three eliminated candidates have only meagre chances to succeed in the election.

Incumbent President Vaclav Klaus's term expires on March 7, 2013. The first round of the first direct presidential election is to be held on January 11-12, the second two weeks later.

The NSS must make a decision on the eliminated candidates' complaints by December 13.

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